Why Should You Choose a Rural College?

by | Jul 13, 2021

A memorable and fulfilling college experience is built on more than what you learn inside the classroom. When you learn and live in a safe and nurturing environment, it does wonders for your mind, body, and spirit. With more space, less hustle and bustle, and greater access to the great outdoors, there are multiple reasons why going to college in a rural setting could be the right choice for you.

Rural colleges are nestled in the country, typically in small towns or close to farms, parks and wilderness areas. When you’re busy with your studies and a full course load, having a peaceful escape close by can help you recharge and remain focused.

  1. Fresh Air and a Fresher Perspective: Hiking trails, mountains, rivers, lakes, parks and more. These types of outdoor spaces are great for exercise and contemplation.
  2. Fewer Distractions: Cities are chaotic with traffic, noise, and hundreds of distractions. If you choose instead to focus on your education and your life of service, removing the temptations and the frenetic energy can help ground you.
  3. A School with a View: Even when you can’t access the broader expanses of nature, simply having it close by can be comforting. Just look outside your window or take a leisurely stroll across campus and get inspired by a sweeping landscape of trees, a towering mountain range, and all the beauty of nature.

Small Rural College Communities Make a Big Difference

It can be difficult to connect with people in big cities. There are just so many people, businesses, and events going on that have nothing to do with you or school that it can leave you feeling lost. In a smaller college setting, you can focus on what’s truly important.

  1. Your Very Own Community: In small rural college towns, campuses and the people on them make up the majority of the towns themselves. These towns cater to students, with restaurants, activities, and businesses built for a student population.
  2. The Quirks of a Small Town: Small town living is one of America’s best-kept secrets. Many wrongly think that smaller towns are absent of culture or events, but in reality, they have a charm and culture all their own. Whether it’s a unique parade or social group, you can quickly immerse yourself in everything a small town has to offer.
  3. Affordable Life: Big cities are expensive. Not so in small towns. Being financially responsible during your college years means being better set up for life after you graduate, and this is much easier when the cost of living in college isn’t sky-high.

A Safe Environment at a Rural College

Being away from home on your own for the first time can be scary. The unfamiliarity and instant increase in responsibility can be exciting but also a bit unnerving. Smaller, Christian colleges, located in small rural towns tend to be safe, with lower crime rates, fewer alcohol and drug problems, and better security and protection for students.


In the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of rural Virginia, Bluefield University offers a unique and memorable collegiate experience. With a host of different degree programs and a strong grounding in faith, student-life is geared towards learning and service. The school is located in a peaceful setting, but accessible to freeways and airports, so you can travel to wherever you need to go with ease. Visit our programs page to learn more about our academic offerings and while you’re at it, see why Bluefield is an ideal location to work, live, and play.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Jenna Fitzgerald

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Raymond

Assistant Professor of Counseling

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